Saturday, February 28, 2009

Eucharistic Adoration Reflections

Yesterday morning, I awoke to hear the distinctive sound of pouring rain. Mickey was already up and I began my usual morning ritual of coffee and checking email, remembering that I was going to try to attend Eucharistic Adoration before my workday.

I got ready for my day a little earlier and headed out the door at 5:45 AM. It was still raining as I made my way onto the highway, praying that everyone drove carefully. I arrived at the church at 6:00 AM. The door was locked and I knocked loudly (according to the sign) so someone could hear me. Sure enough, a man was about ready to get out from the elevator when he heard the knock and came back down to let me in.

I entered into the dimly lit sanctuary, immediately looking toward the altar where the Eucharist was located within a golden monstrance. I knelt completely and bowed before entering the pew, and then knelt down again on the kneeler to pray.

I have heard of this devotion as "spending time with Jesus." But what was interesting was my reaction. Almost immediately, tears came to my eyes as I thought of all the people in the world who go about their daily lives and give very little thought to God, let alone adoring His Son - who deserves such adoration that we would never be able to repay Him enough in worship, even if we had a hundred lifetimes. (Perhaps this is why we need all of eternity to worship God...)

I grieved as I thought about the lost and those who did not appreciate what God had done for us. What was very interesting to me is that I didn't realize at that moment that this is part of the adoration process. I hadn't read anything about Eucharistic Adoration. The sorrow in my heart, the regret, the feeling of grief came naturally. To me, this was a beautiful sign from God that this devotion is not just some type of Catholic superstition; but has true meaning.

When I was involved in non-denominational churches, one of the ministries I was heavily involved with was intercession. I have been a part of all-night prayer vigils and many, many prayer meetings, in addition to my own private prayer time. I have experienced many times when God has touched my heart and by His Spirit, has allowed me to feel a little bit of His own heart toward a situation or people. I am always humbled and simply in awe that our Heavenly Father feels such a depth of longing for His creation to be reconciled with Him, but yet is rejected time and time, again. I cannot even begin to comprehend His response, which is to keep on loving the world and calling for them to come home.

It would be interesting to find out how many Catholics, who practice Eucharistic Adoration, go on to be interested or involved in some way with missions. I would think the two go hand in hand.

I focused on Jesus Christ and thanked Him for all He had done for us. I prayed that our eyes, ears, and heart would be open to Him. And I just tried to be still and in the moment. I was only able to stay 45 minutes since I needed to get to work. Next time I'll arrive 15 minutes earlier. I was still happy to have been able to go and even happier that there was a parish that still did this. Sadly, not every Catholic parish offers this devotion. The one nearest to me only does it once a month.

So, all in all, it was a beautiful time and I look forward to doing this special devotion during Lent. (and maybe beyond!) Thanks to those who have been sharing with me their thoughts and resources for this devotion.


X said...

I often noticed that when people would come in to Adoration that after being there a few minutes they'd sigh. It was like they were letting go of their earthly troubles.

I have taken people to Adoration who had never gone before. One lady from RCIA (a very simple woman) came out after an hour with tears in her eyes and proclaimed "THAT is a holy place!" She didn't really have any concept of the Real Presence but she KNEW, you know?!

I cannot say enough good things about Adoration.

Peggy Bowes said...

Love your blog! I decided to make my Lenten devotion a weekly Holy Hour in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel. I'm lucky to live on a military base where the Blessed Sacrament Chapel is open M-F. I often stop by while doing errands, but rarely have time for an hour, hence my Lenten resolution. It makes me sad that I so very rarely see anyone else in the chapel. In fact, when I made my first Holy Hour on Ash Wed., the carpet was infested with little winged, crawling bugs! Ewwwww! However, I had resolved to stay the hour, so I would have to deal with the bugs. I prayed the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet (at 3 pm exactly!), then used a book called "An Hour With Jesus" for reflection and prayer. Tears came for me too, as they often do in front of the Blessed Sacrament. I'm experiencing spiritual dryness now, so I have to persevere despite not "feeling" as much as I usually do in front of the Blessed Sacrament. I managed to deal with the bugs, but sprinkled holy water on them before I left. I told our priest about the bugs, and he's taking care of them. God Bless you!

Unknown said...

Like Angela, I can't say enough about Eucharistic Adoration either. I liked your thought about those who spend time before the Blessed Sacrament and missionary work. It made me think of something from the Dialogues of St.Catherine of Sienna;God's words to her were "Go forth from this place of contemplation and bear fruit that will last."
I have also had my dry times as well as the tears. Over the last almost 6 years, yes I have spent time with Jesus, but what I find really awesome is that He desires to spend that time with me.

Shirley said...

The only time we have Adoration here is in a town thirty miles away, on first Fridays only.So what I do, since I have a key to our local church, is go spend some time with Jesus in the Tabernacle. I may not be able to see Him, but I know that He is there, and it is a great solace for my soul. We have no TLM anywhere nearby; I'd have to travel 2 hours to get to the only church in Edmonton that the FSSP offer, which is only at 9 AM on Sunday mornings. How I wish that our little parish would offer the TLM!

zetor said...

I attend Eucharistic Adoration every Friday (unfortunately there is Adoration only during Lent and Advent)I love this time , It is my time to 'talk' and unload my troubles to Jesus.

Jen said...

Beautiful post! Thank you for sharing.

I was especially touched by these lines:

"we would never be able to repay Him enough in worship, even if we had a hundred lifetimes. (Perhaps this is why we need all of eternity to worship God...)"

How true.

Bob Cavalcante Jr. said...

What a beautiful article. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, ideas and faith with us. I just found your blog and will be adding you to my "must read" list.

I cannot look upon the Blessed Eucharist without tears in my eyes. Tears for what we did to Christ, tears for what HE did for us, tears for the sins of the world, Tears for all those whose spiritual blindness prevents them from seeing what I'm seeing.

May God continue to bless you.
Bob Cavalcante

Mary Rose said...

Thank you for all the great comments. It is really special to see how this devotion has affected everyone. He is so gracious to allow us to feel a portion of His heart. I pray all of us grow closer to our Lord during this season of Lent and beyond.